Published: Thursday, October 1st, 2015

Research first for Scotland at the Golden Jubilee




The Scottish Pulmonary Vascular Unit Research Team at the Golden Jubilee Research Institute recently completed a research project that tested a promising new drug for treating Pulmonary Hypertension.

The PATENT trial tested the potential benefits of a new drug called Riociguat for improving the quality of life for individuals who have been diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension.

The Golden Jubilee Research Institute, which shares a campus with the Golden Jubilee National Hospital - home to the national Scottish Pulmonary Vascular Unit (SPVU) - was one of six trial sites throughout the UK and the only site in Scotland to test the treatment on patients.

Discussing the trial, Senior SPVU Research Nurse, Val Pollock said: “Pulmonary Hypertension is a form of high blood pressure which impacts the arteries in the lungs and right side of your heart. This is a rare condition, but has very serious and progressive effects on the patients, which can place serious limitations on their quality of life, and even be life shortening.

“While over the last 18 years there have been significant strides forward in treatments for this condition, it still has no cure. The PATENT trial involved individuals taking a new drug called Riociguat, three times a day. This is a very specially targeted molecule which helps blood get to the lungs to be oxygenated: overall in the trial this was found to improve patients’ symptoms and their quality of life.”

Under randomised controlled trial conditions, 396 patients around the world, and six individuals at the Golden Jubilee underwent extensive examinations and testing. In addition, they were regularly assessed by specialists to determine the effectiveness of the treatment.

Nicola McCulloch, one of the patients involved in the trial, said: “I have been regularly assessed at the Golden Jubilee for the last four years , coming in for check-ups and tests as part of the trial.

“There aren’t many treatments available for Pulmonary Hypertension, so I was happy to take part in any research which could help people like myself with this condition.

“I was diagnosed just before I turned 40 in 2008, and went from being very independent to barely being able to walk along the road. Although I cannot walk as far and as fast as I used to, the trial has made a huge difference to my life. Since taking part I can go on days out, I can spend more time with my family and children, I even recently managed to go on a trip to London.

“The research team at the Golden Jubilee have been fantastic. It’s great to know, that you can pick up the phone and talk to someone who understands what you are experiencing and is there to help.”

Golden Jubilee Nurse Director, Anne Marie Cavanagh added: “The Golden Jubilee is committed to leading quality, research and innovation for NHSScotland and this research is just one of the ways that we are helping improve the health and wellbeing of patients across the country.

“The PATENT trial had very positive results for patients and we look forward to seeing what impact this will have on the quality of life of those with pulmonary hypertension in the future.”

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